Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hiking Adventures: McCullough Gulch

This past weekend, Marc and I finally were able to get back to the Treehouse.  We hadn't been since the first week of April!

At Marc's suggestion, we spent Saturday doing some shopping (yes...HIS suggestion!) and part of that was a trip to purchase some new hiking shoes.  Well...if you buy new hiking shoes, you MUST break them in the next day, am I right?

I found another handy dandy hiking website for Summit County, which lists a bunch of different hikes in the area, based on difficulty.  For this trip, we opted to try out McCullough Gulch since it was pretty short but promised some great views.  We definitely weren't disappointed!

One thing to note - this hike said it was "easy/moderate" and I'm a little surprised by that.  There were definitely some parts that were steep, and we had to catch our breath a few times.  But, the new hiking shoes definitely helped with the incline and gripping the loose gravel.
New shoes - these were key!

Just beginning - you can see the bottom of the falls at the beginning of the hike.
Not sure the picture does it justice - but this was STEEP! 
All the snows hadn't quite melted, so getting to the alpine lake at the top was a little tricky.  But the view was worth it!
Finally made it to the gulch!

The alpine lake was absolutely beautiful.
The falls started right at the edge - I wish the sun was shining while I took this pic - you could literally see straight to the bottom of the lake.  The water was crystal clear!
Polly loves hiking - always be sure to pack a squirt bottle for your pup!
The squirt bottle makes it easy for the pup to drink when she wants.

Frolicking through some snow that hadn't quite melted yet.

The falls started right at the base of the lake.  The water was FREEZING!

I wanted to get a shot of Polly tackling the boulder fields.  She loves the rocks!
Overall - a great hike during mud season.  
Felices say Hi!
Happy hiking to all!

Going on Vacay!

So excited!  We leave tomorrow to head to the northeast for 5 days of sun and seafood...

...or so we thought.  Checking the weather and it's literally supposed to rain the.whole.time.  Oh well.  If all else fails, we'll just stuff ourselves full of lobster and I'll read the Alex Cross series for 5 days=)

But, if the weather is nice, here's what we have on the itinerary:
    • - Catching a Red Sox game on Thursday!  Already purchased the tickets (part of Marc's birthday present) and the seats are pretty awesome - front rows along the 3rd base line - right in fowl-ball territory!
    • - Biking around Boston!  Possibly hitting up the Freedom Trail and biking around Cambridge to see Harvard and MIT.  Is it dorky that I'm actually really excited about this?
    • - Eating seafood!
    • - Driving to Bar Harbor, Maine.
    • - Eating more seafood.
    • - Staying in a sweet little B&B in Bar Harbor - I'm actually very excited about this.  I feel like we're going to be going back in time.
    • - Whale watching - you know this is a must for me =)
    • - Eating seafood!
    • - Biking and hiking in Acadia National Park.
    • - Eating more seafood!
There you have it - our plan.  Hopefully it works out, but if the weather doesn't cooperate, I'm sure we'll still have fun.

Now...time to go gather my CD's in preparation for our road trip from Boston to Bar Harbor...

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A helpful tip

I wanted to share a helpful tip that I discovered from a blog a few months ago.  I absolutely love rotating seasonal candles throughout the house, but I always get sad when I have to throw away a beautiful candle jar with wax left inside.

I don't know about you, but this was something that seriously bothered me.  Maybe even too much.  I mean...candle jars can be so pretty, but it's impossible to reuse them when there's that tiny bit of wax and the wick in the bottom, right?

Wrong, my friends.  Wrong!

Thanks to this hand blog post from Yellow Brick Home, I discovered an ingenious way to get rid of the excess candle wax and reuse the jar!

I used the method she did exactly - poured boiling water into the jar, waited for the wax to melt then cool, and then lifted it out!  It was so neato!

Do be sure you take note of her tips, especially the part about not pouring the hot water down the drain before the wax has had time to cool.

Hope this helps you out just a bit!  I did this over the weekend with great success, so I just had to share =)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


...Marc was sick last week and, of course, now I'm sick.  No fun =(

On the plus side, Marc is an excellent nurse and is seriously awesome when it comes to taking care of me.  For example, he's at the grocery store right now picking up ingredients to make me beef and broccoli for dinner =)

Silver linings to an otherwise "blah" couple of days.  Oh well...hope you're having a great week!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hiking Adventures: Deer Creek Canyon Park

This past weekend I was very excited to take advantage of the awesome weather and go on my first hike of 2013!

The day started off on a high note with a caribou who was grazing around the parking lot.
You know I am a sucker for a wildlife encounter =)
I swear, the pictures does not do this justice.  She was literally right next to the car!

I decided to do the Meadowlark / Plymouth loop - as suggested by this hand dandy hiking site:
Deer Creek Canyon Park is located right next to Red Rocks, so it was pretty cool to hike and see the amphitheater and crazy rock formations.
You have to zoom in, but you can see the city skyline through the hills!  There are also some really cool rock formations all over the place - they looked fake, like from a Hollywood movie set.

The famous Red Rocks Amphitheater!
I was a little disappointed that the hike was shorter than advertised.  My gps watch clocked me at about 2.8 miles and the hiking site said it was 3.5 miles, but it was still a great "starter" hike to kick off the season.  Polly at least enjoyed herself =)
Such a beautiful sky!
I had to get a shot of this.  People have a hard time believing that Colorado has close to desert conditions in the foothills, but it's really true!  We are super arid and even though we get some snow in the winter, we have cactus all over the place.  Check out this "little" guy that I almost stepped on:
Evergreens and cactus.  I love our climate =)

Come out to visit and I'll take you on a hike!

Throwback Tunes

A couple of weeks ago, Marc and I took a "mini road trip" from Washington, PA to Erie, PA.  It was truly a "mini" roadtrip since it was only about 150 miles, but still gave us the ultimate reason that anyone goes on a roadtrip...

...blasting music and singing at the top of your lungs like a giant fool.

I mean, really.  Isn't that why roadtrips were invented?  To share the joys of the open road and a radio with those you love?  At least, that's why I think roadtrips exist =)

Thankfully, before we left for Erie, Marc did some browsing around his childhood bedroom and found his old CD collection.  There were some oldies but goodies in there:
Honestly...who was a teenager in the mid 90's through early 2000's and didn't own these albums?

It really brought back some happy memories of high school, and caused me to reminisce about some of my favorite compact discs from this timeframe. (I am one of those lucky people who loved high school.  I had great friends, great times and just great memories from the whole experience.  Actually...sometimes I think I might have enjoyed high school more than college...not ashamed to admit it)

Here are some of the faves from my collection, in addition to the two listed above, list in no particular order (actually...that is a lie.  They are listed in the order that they appear in my giant, 500 disc, black, leather cd case that I'm going through...hah!):
    • - Aerosmith:  9 Lives
    • - Live:  Throwing Copper (GREAT album!)
    • - Garth Brooks:  World Tour 2 Disc set
    • - Shania Twain:  Come on Over (Man! I feel like a woman...or an old lady...)
    • - Dixie Chicks:  Wide Open Spaces (Cowboy taaake meee away!)
    • - *N'Sync:  *N'Sync (they were so awesome they didn't even name the album...it's tearin' up my heart...)
    • - John Mayer:  Room for Squares (before he became a giant loser)
    • - Titanic soundtrack (um...duh...I'm surprised it still plays considering how many times I listed to in on repeat.  Celine rocks.)
    • Armageddon soundtrack (again...with the 'duh')
    • - Backstreet Boys:  The first album, Millenium, and Black & Blue (confession...I probably have more BSB albums than any other artist...oops)
    • - Britney Spears:  Baby One More Time and Oops...I Did It Again (oh Britney...you really are just so talented)
    • - No Doubt: Tragic Kingdom (this is epic...)
    • - Blessid Union of Souls:  Home (also an epic album...I actually might listen to it now...Oooh Virginia!)
    • - TLC:  Crazy Sexy Cool (I remember this being a sneaky purchase bc my parents did not support TLC being played in our house)
    • - Mariah Carey: Daydream, Butterfly and Rainbow (wow...when you look at the three album names together, you really see that she was heading downhill fast...)
    • - Foo Fighters:  The Color and the Shape (...I didn't know the name of this album, I just associated it with Varsity Blues)
    • - Sophie B Hawkins:  Whaler (I admit...this one is embarrassing...)
    • - Jewell: Pieces of You 
    • - Celine Dion:  Falling Into You (obvi)
    • - Alanis Morisette:  Jagged Little Pill (whoa...isn't it ironic?) 
    • - Ooh...and a whole slew of burned CD mixes
 Wow.  How many of those did you own?  I feel that many of these were necessities for a teenage girl in my generation.  The only albums that I think I'm seriously missing that my friends would have would be anything Dave Matthews - I just didn't really get "in" to Dave until recently, but I've found that that tends to happen with me.

I mentioned what I felt were staples but I'm curious to see if I was missing anything else that was deemed a classic from that timeframe (oh...I omitted my Hanson album...but I have it, fear not, Mmmm Bop!).

I hope this provides a little "roadtrip" down memory lane =)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my sweet mom's birthday =)
Very typical =)  This is from when my mom and Lee Ray came to visit 2 years ago.

She stole some "foliage" and brought them home to plant at her house!
I love this one!

Happy birthday, mom!  I love you so much and am so thankful for you =)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Need to detox

Oiye...Marc and I just spent a week in Pennsylvania visiting his family, friends and going to a wedding.  I haven't had so many hot dogs in one week in a while.  Hot dogs and cookies.  That's basically what we ate all week...and wedding cake =)

...the fibrous veggie body cleansing detoxification process shall now begin.

In keeping with my awful habit of not capturing the moment, I don't have any pictures to represent the week.  Boo.  I need to get better at this!

But we had so much fun seeing friends and family.  Here are a couple of highlights of how we spent our time:
    • - Visiting Pat, Kasey and baby Kameron!  Kam will be one year old soon and I just can't believe how much he's grown, and how stinkin' cute he is =)
    • - Spending some time with Sammy and learning how to cast a fly fishing rod.  Is it called fly casting?  No clue...but I learned how to do it and evidently I'm a natural *hehe*
    • - Seeing Marc's parents - it's always great to be home and have a home cooked meal.
    • - Val and Dan's wedding in Erie!  We had SUCH a great time celebrating these two lovebirds and hanging out with friends.  Plus, I received an excellent recommendation for a place to get a peanut butter milkshake while we were in Erie and I must admit...this thing changed my life.  Possibly the best pb milkshake I've ever had.  It is also partially the reason I need to eat nothing but veggies this week.  
Oh...and I did lie to you.  I happened to grab one picture this week while I was walking through Marc's parent's neighborhood: 
Yes - I had a close encounter with a wild turkey.  If you have never seen one up close, they are SCARY!!!  And big.  And mean.

So there you have it!  Please do not invite me out for dessert any time soon.  It will be very difficult to say no =)
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